Programme Archive Tasglann Phrògraman

Highland Midwives

BBC ALBA – Friday 31 May 2013 - 8.30pm


BBC ALBA - Dihaoine 31 Cèitean - 8.30f

Lochaber Corran Ferry


HIGHLAND MIDWIVES takes viewers on a fascinating journey through the highs and lows of pregnancy, birth and the first six months of the babies’ lives, as the series returns to our screens on BBC ALBA.

The series will follow the working lives of midwives based in Raigmore Hospital, and throughout the Highlands and Islands as they visit expectant mothers and assess them during antenatal check-ups, care for them during labour and birth, as well as support them through their babies’ first few weeks of life.

We meet rural midwife Alison Cook, an Integrated Midwife based in the Belford Hospital in Fort William. She regularly travels many miles throughout the 2000 square mile Lochaber area, by car and boat, to look after expectant mothers, then to care for them and their babies when they are born. Alison moved to Lochaber from Leicester and enjoys living in a rural community. She says: “I’m not known as Alison Cook anymore, I’m Alison the Midwife”.

Catherine MacDonald, from Lewis, is the Lochaber Midwifery Team Leader, responsible for the midwives who provide maternity care in the area. Catherine also has a busy case load herself and through the series we follow her as she heads to Kilchoan in Ardnamurchan, Port Appin near Oban and to Mallaig on the northwest coast to visit mums to be.

Lochaber midwives provide a 24 hour service and the geography is very challenging. With long distances to travel, ferries to catch, and all kinds of weather to contend with, these midwives are prepared for every eventuality!

Student midwife Fiona Bowie, who lives in Farr near Inverness, also features in the series. She is on placement in Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, first of all in the Special Care Baby unit, then in the Labour Suite. As she begins her final year she shares with us how amazingly privileged she feels bringing a new life into the world.

Meanwhile in Nairn, experienced Community Midwife Effie Rowan, originally from Skye and now living on the Black Isle, is caring for mum Stephanie Conway and her baby Rory at home for ten days after the birth. According to Effie “Every day is so different for us!”

Also in Nairn, Lynsey Milne is attending Effie’s antenatal clinic on the very day her second child is due. Later on we find Lynsey and husband Chris in Raigmore Hospital as they await the birth of their second IVF baby.

Claire Chambers and Andrew McPhee, who live in Nairn, have two identical little girls Hannah and Holly. They were born six months ago at 29 weeks into the pregnancy and spent 65 days in the Special Care Baby Unit at Raigmore Hospital. Claire was pregnant with triplets but sadly little Lucy was stillborn at 22 weeks and five days. Remarkably Claire’s pregnancy then continued for another six weeks.

In Inverness Ashley Pocock is desperately hoping she will not need a Caesarean section for the birth of her second child as the thought of having a needle in her back terrifies her. She would rather have a general anaesthetic but anaesthetist Dr Kevin Holliday explains an epidural will be safer for her and her baby. Ashley admits, “I have a lot to think about”.

Alison Sutherland gives birth to baby Alex 11 weeks early, and he is rushed into the Special Care Baby Unit, weighing only 3lbs. As we follow Alex’ progress in Raigmore Hospital, we see how difficult it is for Alison to cope away from her two other children, who are at home in Keiss, 120 miles away. Older brother Ben (eight years old) in particular is very relieved when Alex is eventually well enough to come home, as he reveals how worried he has been while his mum has been away.

Ann and Alex Macleod’s son Donald (now one year old) was born 10 weeks premature by emergency Caesarean Section and spent 10 weeks in the Special Care Baby Unit in Raigmore Hospital. Ann describes how at first she felt he wasn’t her baby because she couldn’t hold him and do anything for him herself …...“the bond just wasn’t there”. We follow Donald’s progress after he gets home. He has a heart murmur and we see a worried Ann take him to a Cardiology appointment for assessment.

Also in Raigmore, Alexis Mackay is in theatre having her first baby by Caesarean section as her Mum Margaret paces the corridor outside anxiously waiting for news.

‘HIGHLAND MIDWIVES / MNATHAN-GLÙINE’ has been produced for BBC ALBA by Eyeline Media and will be transmitted on Friday 31 May at 8.30pm and each consecutive Friday throughout the eight part series.


Tha ‘Mnathan-Glùine’ air ais air BBC ALBA airson an dàrna sreath, le 8 prògraman ùra a’ cur aire air boireannaich a tha trom, a tha air leabaidh-shiùbhla, àm breith agus air na ciad sia mìosan aig leanabh. Tha am prògram a’ leantainn mhnathan-glùine a tha stèidhte ann an Ospadal an Rathaig Mhòir, agus air feadh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean.

Am measg nan sgeulachdan, bidh sinn a’ coinneachadh ri Alison Cook a tha na bean-ghlùine ann an sgìre dùthchail, agus a bhios a’ siubhal air feadh Loch Abar gus coinneachadh ri boireannaich a tha an dùil ri pàiste. Ghluais Alison an seo bho Leicester agus thuirt i, “Chan e Alison Cook a th’ aig daoine orm tuilleadh ach Alison a’ Bhean-ghlùine”.

’S i Catrìona NicDhòmhnaill, a bhoinneas do Leòdhas , a tha os cionn sgioba mhnathan–glùine Lochabair agus bidh i a’ stiùireadh clionaig ann am Mallaig, còrr is 40 mìle air falbh à ionad màthaireil anns a’ Ghearastan. Tha boireannaich na sgìre an urra rithe, cho fad ’s a tha iad trom. Le astaran mòra ri shiubhal, aiseagan rin glacadh, agus iomadach seòrsa sìde, tha na mnathan-glùine seo deiseil agus deònach dèiligeadh le suidheachadh sam bith!

Tha Fiona Bowie a tha a’ fuireach ann an Farr faisg air Inbhir Nis, a’ trèanadh gu bhith na bean-ghlùine agus a’ faighinn eòlas-obrach ann an Ospadal an Rathaig Mhòir. Aig toiseach am bliadhna mu dheireadh aice, tha i ag innse dhuinn cho sònraichte ’s a tha i a’ faireachdain le bhith a’ toirt beatha ùr a-steach dhan t-saoghal.

Tha Alex beag air a bhreith 11 seachdainean tràth agus air a thoirt gu Ionad Cùram Sònraichte nam Paisdean , ’s gun ann ach 3 puinnd de chuideam. Fhad ’s a tha sinne a’ faicinn ciamar a tha Alex a’ tighinn air adhart, tha e doirbh do dh’Alison a bhith air falbh bho a dithis chloinne eile a tha aig an dachaigh ann an Keiss, 120 mìle air falbh.

The Dòmhnall, mac Anne agus Alex MacLeòid, a-nis bliadhna a dh’aois ach chaidh a bhreith 10 seachdainean tràth agus chuir e seachad 10 seachdainean ann an Ionad Cùram Sònraichte nam Paisdean ann an Ospadal an Rathaig Mhòir. Leanaidh sinn sgeulachd Alex às deidh dha fàighinn dhachaigh.

Ann an Inbhir Narann, tha a’ bhean-ghlùine Effie Rowan a’ toirt cùram do mhàthair air a bheil Stephanie agus air a leanabh Rory anns an dachaigh aice airson deich latha an dèidh a’ bhreith. Tha Effie ag ràdh gu bheil “a h-uile latha cho eadar-dhealaichte dhaibh!”

Tha Mnathan-Glùine, a chaidh a riochdachadh le Eyeline Media, a’ tòiseachadh Dihaoine 31mh Cèitean, aig 8.30f, air BBC ALBA.

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